Backpacks key to unmasking suicide bombers’ identityDecember 9th, 2011 - 1:08 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Dec 9 (IANS) Catching suicide bombers might become easier by testing the containers rather than the bombs hidden in them, thanks to a new technique.
Currently, law enforcement labs tend to test for DNA on the exploded bomb fragments, but this has a low success rate, said David Foran, a Michigan State University (MSU) forensic biologist and lead investigator on a research project.
Through the MSU-led study, researchers obtained DNA from backpacks that had been blown up with pipe bombs inside, and subsequently obtained full DNA profiles that matched all the volunteers who had carried the backpacks for a week.
The findings could ultimately change the way law enforcement officials investigate bombings, Foran said, the Journal of Forensic Sciences reports.
Foran noted that homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices, have become the weapon of choice for terrorists and insurgents around the world, according to an MSU statement.
In the US, IEDs were used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996.
“This may change the way the investigators look at things,” said Foran, professor of criminal justice. “They may focus on other pieces of evidence if they know they’re much more likely to produce a DNA result.”
Foran said DNA is difficult to find on an exploded pipe bomb, likely because of the heat of the blast and the smooth nature of the pipe.
But DNA showed up on all of the backpacks, possibly because they weren’t as decimated as the bombs and because of their coarser texture, Foran said.
- Scientists crack ancient bone disease - Jan 04, 2012
- If Times Square bomb had been built as intended, it would have been bigger than Oklahoma blast - Jul 21, 2010
- DNA test can now tell hair colour - Jan 06, 2011
- GOP, Democrats divided over global warming - Apr 20, 2011
- Could Amelia Earhart have finally been found? - Mar 03, 2011
- Times Square bomb: Shahzad used inferior explosives - Jul 21, 2010
- Pipe bomb found outside church in Northern Ireland - May 03, 2012
- British soldiers' remains stored secretly - Aug 09, 2012
- 'Terrorists may have used safe house near blast sites' - Jul 16, 2011
- Aarushi case: Parents to fight CBI closure report (Roundup) - Dec 30, 2010
- Shehla murder: CBI recovers revolver, bike used in crime - Mar 25, 2012
- Embattled IMF chief could be released on bail pending deal - May 19, 2011
- Bomb maker's plea to sit for engineering exam disallowed - May 06, 2011
- US seeks Pakistan's help in Times Square bomb probe (Second Lead) - May 04, 2010
- Bones Recovered From Nikumaroro Island Might Resolve Amelia Earhart's Mystery - Dec 19, 2010
Tags: bombings, centennial olympic park, dna profiles, explosive devices, forensic biologist, fragments, homemade bombs, ieds, journal of forensic sciences, law enforcement officials, michigan state university, msu statement, oklahoma city bombing, olympic park, pipe bomb, pipe bombs, study researchers, success rate, suicide bombers, weapon of choice